Thiago,in the press room / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Thiago Alcántara talked about the possibility of his team cutting into Real Madrid’s seven-point lead. The Barça midfielder is confident that La Liga trophy will once again reside at the Camp Nou at the end of the season: “of course we can fight back. Over the years we’ve demonstrated a lot of things." Thiago believes that in order to claim more titles the team must take it one step at a time and only focus on the next match. “I think in the short term, and that means focusing on Real Sociedad. We cannot be concerned with Valencia or Bayer Leverkusen [right now],” the Spanish-Brazilian midfielder. He added, “we set weekly challenges for ourselves.”

Messi and Puyol

On the game against Valencia, Thiago said that “we didn’t capitalize on our chances. We had a lot of them and we simply didn’t finish them.” On the team’s lack of accuracy in front of goal, Thiago doesn’t believe that Barça depends solely on Messi and his goals: “Messi is a born winner. We have the best player in the world, we are not dependent on him but we must take advantage of his virtues.”

One of the highlights of the match was Carles Puyol’s double roulette. Thiago praised his captain for “showing his quality at Mestalla, a difficult ground ... I have to tip my hat to him and thank him because it was a beautiful thing for football.”

Referee decisions

“Luckily he didn’t make the right call.” Thiago was honest when he was asked about the play where it appears that Pinto handles the ball outside of the Barça box. However, Thiago noted that “the referees, with their virtues and defects, do their job, just like players do.”

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